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December 5, 2018

Impacting Your World

“These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.” Acts 17:6 (NKJV)

You can’t help but be amazed when you read the book of Acts with the impact that a small group of about 120 Christ followers had on their world and ours today!  Somebody said a mighty oak tree is nothing more than a little nut that wouldn’t give up its ground.  These men and women knew, without question, that Jesus Christ had changed their lives!  They embraced the good news of the Gospel of salvation for ALL men and weren’t ashamed to proclaim it wherever, whenever and with whomever they came in contact.  They were intentional and seized every opportunity possible to let others know of God’s love, grace and forgiveness available through the death and resurrection of Christ.  So powerful was their message that Paul said, 

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the POWER of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”  Rom. 1:16 (NIV)

We get our English word “dynamite” from that Greek word for “power”.  The Gospel is the dynamite of God that impacts lives with change and significance!  When you light the fuse of a stick of dynamite, something happens!  When the fuse was lit for the gospel after the resurrection of Christ, there was an explosion of power at Pentecost!  The promised Holy Spirit was imparted into the very lives of Christ’s followers!  Jesus had told them in Acts 1:8, 

“You will receive power WHEN the HOLY SPIRIT comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  (NV)

You only have to read on through the rest of the Book of Acts to see the impact they made!  That’s why the book is called “Acts.”  It is the “Acts of the Holy Spirit” embodied in men and women living with impact!  Such was their impact that, when Paul and a small band of Christ followers entered the city of Thessalonica on their second missionary journey, some of the leaders in the city shouted, 

“These who have turned the world upside down have come here too!”  Acts 17:6 (NKJV)

Already the news was spreading and before they could even reach a city their reputation preceded them!  That’s living with impact!

Today is no different.  When you read through the book of Acts, you will notice that there is no “Amen” at the end.  Why?  Because the acts of the Holy Spirit continue in the lives of Christ’s followers today.  Are you living with impact?  Your life is a gift from God.  What you do with it is your gift back to God.  As a Christ follower, you have the same power available to you today as the people of Acts did then.  What was the secret to their impact?  There are several considerations you can glean from Luke’s journal:

  • “They all joined together constantly in prayer…”  Acts 1:14 (NIV)
  • “They were all together in one place…”  Acts 2:1 (NIV)
  • “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit…”  Acts 2:4 (NIV)
  • “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer … All the believers were together and had everything in common.  Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.  Everyday they continued to meet together in the temple courts.  They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.  And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”  Acts 2:42-47 (NIV)
  • “They worshiped together regularly at the Temple … (and) met in small groups in homes …”  Acts 2:46 (LB)

What began with a personal encounter with Christ took shape through a community of faith with purpose that we call the church today!  A people united in prayer, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and devoted to God’s Word and to one another cannot help but live their lives with impact!

How about you today?  Are you living with impact?  It’s amazing to see the work of God through the people of God joined together for His purpose.  It’s explosive!  If you are not a member of such a church, join one.  Living with impact will become the natural expression of your union with Christ and His followers.  It will turn your world right side up!  Read through Luke’s journal in the book of Acts.  Begin to record the acts of the Holy Spirit in your life and small group!

If you’re not already a part of a local church or a life group, we invite you to join us this Sunday, December 9th at either our Membership or Life Class and help you connect to a community of faith that’s making an impact in our world today!  You can register now and join us at a Woodlands Church campus near you.